SKY BET LEAGUE 2
Saturday April 22nd, 3.00pm
NORTHAMPTON TOWN 3
David Norman 10
Sam Hoskins 23
Kieron Bowie 45
HARROGATE TOWN 1
Kazeem Olaigbe 3
Attendance: 7,018 (107 away fans)
Cobblers: Lee Burge, Sam Hoskins (sub Josh Eppiah 90), Max Dyche, David Norman (sub Shaun McWilliams 46), Sam Sherring, Ryan Haynes, Marc Leonard, Will Hondermarck, Mitch Pinnock, Louis Appere (sub Tete Yengi 90), Kieron Bowie (sub Danny Hylton 80)
Subs not used: Tom King, Paul Osew, D’Margio Wright-Phillips
Harrogate: Mark Oxley, Josh Falkingham, George Thomson (sub Matty Daly 65), Kazeem Olaigbe, Sam Folarin (sub Jack Muldoon 77), Toby Sims, Anthony O’Connor, Alex Pattison (sub Warren Burrell 28), Luke Armstrong, Matty Foulds, Tom Eastman
Subs not used: Joe Mattock, Dior Angus, Pete Jameson, Rory McArdle
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Cobblers: Will Hondermarck (20), Shaun McWilliams (57)
Max Dyche came into the Cobblers side for the visit of Harrogate Town, replacing Jack Sowerby who was forced off in the midweek win at Sutton. Josh Eppiah, back from injury, was among the Cobblers substitutes while there was a familiar surname on the Harrogate bench, Dior Angus, son of former Cobblers defender and BBC Radio Northampton summariser for the afternoon, Terry Angus.
On the club’s designated Community Day, a big crowd was in attendance as Jon Brady’s side looked to further boost their push for automatic promotion in their penultimate home fixture of the regular campaign.
Harrogate took the lead early on when a long goal kick from Mark Oxley found its way to Kazeem Olaigbe via a deflected Luke Armstrong cross, Olaigbe, on-loan from Southampton, beating Lee Burge with a cool finish.
The Cobblers were only behind for seven minutes however, David Norman getting the final touch to a devilish corner from Mitch Pinnock for his first goal in English football.
Burge came off his line well to deny Armstrong a shooting opportunity and not long after that the Cobblers were in front, Sam Hoskins drilling a shot into the bottom corner having been played in by Kieron Bowie. Hoskins himself had started the move and his 21st goal of the season was a terrific strike that gave Oxley no chance in the Harrogate goal.
The visitors continued to look dangerous in attack and it needed a vital interception from Dyche to deflect behind a shot from goalscorer Olaigbe who also had a shot blocked in first half stoppage time.
A dramatic first half was to end with a Cobblers third goal, Kieron Bowie on the end of a delicious cross in from Pinnock to volley in at the back post.
Jon Brady made a change at half-time with Shaun McWilliams coming on for David Norman. McWilliams went to right-back as Brady switched to a back four.
Oxley made a smart diving save to keep out a 25-yard strike from Pinnock while Burge got down low to keep out a shot from the lively Olaigbe.
Harrogate had a chance to pull a goal back and set up a nervous six minutes of stoppage time but substitute Jack Muldoon fired over the bar and the Cobblers took another massive step forward in their quest for promotion.
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 3
CORNERS: (3) 7
FOULS: (3) 10
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 0
HARROGATE MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)
SHOTS ON TARGET: (4) 5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 4
CORNERS: (3) 7
FOULS: (5) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (1) 1